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Top 10 Tuesday: Latest 2021 NFL Draft big board - defensive ends

View the Top 10 NFL Draft prospect rankings based on position

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As your New Orleans Saints prepare for the 2021 NFL Draft, we take a look at the top 10 ranked players at various positions. The 2021 NFL Draft big board rankings are reflective of Bucky Brooks' top five 2021 NFL Draft prospects by position 1.0 and ESPN's NFL Draft "Best Available" list.

Here are the top 10 ranked draft prospects at defensive end:

2021 NFL Draft prospects - Defensive end | #1 Gregory Rousseau | Miami

Rank
1
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Gregory Rousseau | Miami
2019 Season Stats: 34 SOLO | 15.5 SACK | 2 FF

Overview: Long-limbed, even-front end with a projectable frame but a concerning lack of functional edge experience. Much of Rousseau's sack production came via athletic mismatches against interior blockers when reduced inside. He lacks prototypical get-off and needs more violence and pop in his hands, but his length, pursuit agility and wide-open throttle really stand out on tape. Rousseau opted out of the 2020 campaign.

2021 NFL Draft prospects - Defensive end | #2 Jaelan Phillips | Miami

Rank
2
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Jaelan Phillips | Miami
2020 Season Stats: 21 SOLO | 8.0 SACK | 1 INT

Overview: Edge defender with plus physical attributes and a motor that keeps him working and attacking throughout the rep. Philips might have the combination of length and athleticism that would allow teams to look at him with a hand on the ground or standing depending on his weight. Adding play strength will be important so that he can stack it up when setting the edge as a run defender in the league.

2021 NFL Draft prospects - Defensive end | #3 Kwity Paye | Michigan

Rank
3
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Kwity Paye | Michigan
2020 Season Stats: 12 SOLO | 2.0 SACK | 0 FF

Overview: The explosive testing will surely get teams and evaluators excited, but it might be hard to bang the table for him based on the tape. Paye's traits and potential should not be discounted, as he'll continue to be skilled up in technique and fundamentals. However, he's a choppy-stepping short-strider who doesn't play with the feel and instincts of an NFL play-maker.

2021 NFL Draft prospects - Defensive end | #4 Carlos Basham Jr. | Wake Forest

Rank
4
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Carlos Basham Jr. | Wake Forest
2020 Season Stats: 20 SOLO | 5.0 SACK | 1 FF

Overview: Three-year starter at defensive end with burly frame, heavy hands and an ability to take on physical rigors of the NFL. His rush attack is more technical and explosive, using active hands, spin counters and a thoughtful approach. His lack of suddenness and edge speed could get him pegged as an early-down end while moving inside to become an interior rusher on passing downs.

2021 NFL Draft prospects - Defensive end | #5 Jayson Oweh | Penn State

Rank
5
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Jayson Oweh | Penn State
2020 Season Stats: 20 SOLO | 0.0 SACK | 0 FF

Overview: Oweh has a prototypical NFL build and some of the most exciting traits and explosiveness of any edge defender in this draft. Those features can't be taught but they can be coached up, so any concerns about his lack of polish at this stage should be tempered.

2021 NFL Draft prospects - Defensive end | #6 Ronnie Perkins | Oklahoma

Rank
6
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Ronnie Perkins | Oklahoma
2020 Season Stats: 16 SOLO | 5.5 SACK | 0 FF

Overview: Productive but undersized defensive end who might need to prove he can play standing for a 3-4 scheme. Perkins is tight-hipped and a very average athlete with production coming thanks to his hard-charging motor as well as Oklahoma's slant-heavy defensive front.

2021 NFL Draft prospects - Defensive end | #7 Joe Tryon | Washington

Rank
7
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Joe Tryon | Washington
2019 Season Stats: 27 TKL | 8.0 SACK | 0 FF

Overview: Impressive physical specimen with the traits and athletic profile to move up the draft board, but tape shows he might still need more course work before he's ready to make a difference in the pros. He uses his length and hands effectively at the point of attack, but needs to weaponize them as a pass rusher. Tryon opted out of the 2020 season.

2021 NFL Draft prospects - Defensive end | #8 Patrick Jones II | Pittsburgh

Rank
8
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Patrick Jones II | Pittsburgh
2020 Season Stats: 24 TKL | 9.0 SACK | 0 FF

Overview: Linear edge rusher with NFL size and length, but a lack of consistent urgency could hurt his chances. Jones doesn't play with much of a commanding presence at the point of attack and will need to crank it up in that area or teams will gear up to run right at him.

2021 NFL Draft prospects - Defensive end | #9 Payton Turner | Houston

Rank
9
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Payton Turner | Houston
2020 Season Stats: 17 SOLO | 5.0 SACK | 1 FF

Overview: Turner is a big, long 4-3 defense end with natural play strength and a surprising level of bend and agility for his size. His technique and footwork are a little spotty, though. He plays with a narrow base and tall pad level, which will always be something he has to work around. 

2021 NFL Draft prospects - Defensive end | #10 Rashad Weaver | Pittsburgh

Rank
10
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Rashad Weaver | Pittsburgh
2020 Season Stats: 22 SOLO | 7.5 SACK | 3 FF

Overview: Weaver bullies blockers around with his punch and discard game. He lacks twitch and short-area quickness, but his power and length could make up for it as a middle-round end with rotational value in an even or odd front.

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